Annual 30 Days of Peace observance begins on Sept. 11

News Photo by Diane Speer Alpena Peace Coalition committee members, from left, Dr. Lynn Field, Carol Skiba, Keith and Ginny Titus display a banner that will be included in the first 30 Days of Peace event planned for this year. This is the 12th year of the annual 30 Days of Peace initiative.

For a dozen consecutive years, the Alpena Peace Coalition each fall has offered the community a month-long calendar of events and experiences aimed at encouraging people to strive for peace in all areas of their lives, their community and their world. This year, the group’s focus falls on the environment.

“The theme this year is “Heal the Earth and Save All Life,” said Carol Skiba, a key Peace Coalition member and coordinator of the annual 30 Days of Peace initiative. “We see harming the earth as violence against all humanity. Having reverence for the earth certainly is a core of peace.”

The 30 Days of Peace traditionally begins on Sept. 11. In keeping with that tradition, the first offering this year is an original production, “Listen as Earth Speaks.” Created and arranged by Keith Titus, it will be held Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the First Congregational United Church of Christ. The production will feature numerous well-known community members.

“It’s a dramatic presentation that has the general format of a worship service,” Titus said. “It involves poetry, some interpretive dance and readings.”

Among those participating are both Titus and his wife, Ginny, Roger Phillips, David Usher, Judy Case, Marlo Broad, Mary Louise Hart, Rev. Bruce Michaud, Rev. Bill McClure and Rev. Paul Lance.

“The focus is on finding peace in the environment,” Titus said. “You usually don’t think of the environment in terms of peace, but the violence being visited upon it is reprehensible.”

Other upcoming events in the week ahead include a Peace Liturgy offered by Rev. Bill McClure on Sept. 12 at Trinity Episcopal Church and a program on Climate Changes at 7 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. The climate change program is part of the GLMC’s 2018 free cinema series and will follow a team of divers, photographers and scientists as they set out on an ocean adventure to document and reveal how the oceans are changing.

Coming up Sept. 15 is the second annual Who Is My Neighbor? event slated from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the APlex. Through a wide variety of activities for youth and the young at heart, the free event seeks to celebrate the oneness of humanity through the diversity of the arts and varied talents. Among the planned activities are music and songs, arts and crafts, storytellers, dancers, speakers, award-winning film shorts, drumming circle, poetry, tai chi, yoga and a variety of information tables.

The schedule also features the showing of the National Geographic-sponsored film, “Before the Flood,” on Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church. Narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the film gives evidence in support of the problem of global warming and the impact it will have in the future, said Peace Coalition member Dr. Lynn Field.

“It’s a really well-done and in depth narration of those evidences,” Field said. “The film runs about an hour and a half in length. We plan some time for questions and discussion afterwards. The good thing about the film is that it does offer hope. There is the potential for hope in the things that can be done if we have determination.”

Upcoming events

∫ Sept. 11: Listen as Earth Speaks, 7 p.m., First Congregational UCC

∫ Sept. 12: Peace Liturgy, noon, Trinity Episcopal

∫ Sept. 13: Climate Changes, 7 p.m., GLMHC

∫ Sept. 15: Who is My Neighbor?, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., APlex

∫ Sept. 16: “Before the Flood” film, 3 p.m., Grace Episcopal